The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts by Linda G.

Sinnemahoning State Park

We visited some place different last week. We departed Warren around 10:00 am on Friday (June 10), en route Sinnemahoning State Park.

According to the Pennsylvania DCNR website, Sinnemahoning State Park is “located near the center of the Pennsylvania Wilds’ scenic steep valleys region [and] encompasses 1,910 acres of beautiful scenery and outstanding wildlife habitat.  Situated in Cameron and Potter counties, the park is nestled between the green-shouldered ridges of Pennsylvania’s Elk State Forest and Susquehannock State Forest.  The park is long and narrow and includes lands on both sides of First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek — a major tributary to the Sinnemahoning Creek. At the southern end of the park, a 145-acre reservoir created by the George B. Stevenson dam provides excellent fishing and water recreation opportunities.  The abundance of wildlife within the park provides visitors with opportunities to view bald eagle, coyote, elk, and bobcat.  In addition, the park’s geographic location is excellent for visitors to explore the other treasures of the Pennsylvania Wilds region.

Our first stop was at the Sinnemahoning State Park Office and Wildlife Center.

Sinnemahoning State Park Office and Wildlife Center
This map shows where we were.

We enjoyed the nature exhibits at the wildlife center.

There was a tunnel that passed by this exhibit.
Children would enjoy going through the tunnel!

We saw a sign for “Arch Tree” soon after leaving the Wildlife Center. This was our second stop.

Arch Tree? What could that be?
Follow the mowed path to the Arch Tree.
the Arch Tree

Our third stop was at the Sinnemahoning State Park boat launch on the George B. Stevenson reservoir. 

We helped an elderly woman at the boat launch.  She was at the boat launch
and couldn’t get out of her kayak.  
We helped the woman step out of the kayak.
Bob then helped pull the kayak out of the water and carried the kayak farther down the boat launch.

See the pontoon boat in the background? We hope to one day take a tour of the reservoir in that boat!

 Our fourth stop was at the George B Stevenson Dam and Spillway.  

George B. Stevenson Dam
George B. Stevenson Dam
George B. Stevenson reservoir,
as viewed from the dam
Opposite the dam is this view of First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek.
We later walked to this creek.
George B. Stevenson Dam and Reservoir

We drove to an area below the dam.

George B. Stevenson Dam spillway. See the bridge?Across the bridge is from where the previous two photographs were taken.
As we wandered around the area below the dam, we came across a cemetery. After a few minutes of online research, I discovered that this is Smith Cemetery.
This is the First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek. It lies below the George B Stevenson Dam. I shared a photograph earlier of this creek from the dam.

According to Wikipedia, the First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek rises south of Coudersport and flows 33.4 miles south, joining Sinnemahoning Creek at Jericho. Freeman Run joins the First Fork at the community of Costello in Potter County. The East Fork joins 5.6 miles downstream at the community of Wharton in Potter County. The First Fork continues for 11.8 miles to the George B. Stevenson Dam. 

The First Fork continues for 8.2 miles to join Sinnemahoning Creek at the community of Sinnemahoning in Cameron County.

Our last stop, before heading to Benezette, was in Driftwood.  We ate a late lunch at the Driftwood Saloon & Grill. We sat on the deck and ate our lunch. I ordered a hot roast beef sandwich; Bob ordered a grouper sandwich. Both meals were delicious. 

We looked for elk in the Benezette area, but we didn’t see any.  i think we returned home around 6:00 pm.

What a wonderful day trip! I am sure we will visit Sinnemahoning State Park again one day.

Finger Lakes Vacation: The Final Day

At 6:36 am on Wednesday (June 1), we left the Airbnb that had been home for the past 7 nights .  We stopped in Waterloo for breakfast at Magee’s Country Diner.   Bob ordered French Toast and bacon.  I ordered scrambled eggs, two chocolate chip pancakes and bacon.  Bob helped me to eat some of my pancakes.  I left behind about 1/4 of one pancake.  

We returned home at 11:30 am.

I took a nap, as soon as we returned home.  I felt tired, and my right knee (all around it) hurt badly.  Rain coming?

After my nap, I was less tired.  My knee still hurt; pain level unchanged.  I unpacked and put away some stuff that we had with us on vacation.  I did this, with many breaks to rest my knee.  I took another nap.  I slept deeply during this nap.  It thundered and rained during my nap, and I didn’t hear anything.  I was pretty well rested from my nap, and the pain in my knee lessened somewhat.

Around 6:00 pm we heard tornado sirens.  As it turned out, there was no tornado warning for Warren County.  The sirens were accidentally set off.  The warning was for Forest County. Nothing like getting your heart pumping, for nothing!

Our vacation is over. We do not have any vacations planned for the near term. We cancelled a 3-night vacation that we had planned for later this month. We planned a return trip to the Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County PA, where we vacationed earlier this year. With gas prices so high, we opted not to make a return trip this year. We aren’t planning another extended vacation, until possibly August. It is unfortunate that we need to consider gas prices for any future vacations, and even for day trips.

Finger Lakes Vacation: Day 7

We ate breakfast out on Tuesday (May 31), our last full day in New York’s Finger Lakes region. 

We drove to New Hope Mills Store & Cafe for breakfast. 

New Hope Mills Store & Cafe

We knew of this cafe only from our stop at the old mill at Routes 66a and 41a, as we drove around Skaneateles Lake, on the fourth day of our vacation.  I search online for any information on the mill. You may recall this photograph of the old mill that I shared on the blog post for the fourth day of our vacation.

New Hope Mills Ruins

The mill is being preserved, with the goal of an operational museum.

The New Hope Mills Cafe was cozy, surrounded by store merchandise.  I ordered the Country Breakfast which consisted of two buttermilk pancakes, 2 eggs, choice of bacon or sausage, and tea.  Bob ordered Farm-Fresh Omelet (Three eggs, choice of cheese, and side of home fries and homemade toast).  He added a side of bacon.  Breakfast was delicious; our waitress was attentive.  We ended up leaving with full bellies and items that we purchased from the country store (waffle mix and mugs).

After breakfast we drove to Seneca Falls.  We visited the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. In particular we visited the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Visitor Center and the Elizabeth Lady Stanton House.

Weslyan Methodist Chapel

The Wesleyan Chapel is the location of the First Women’s Rights Convention held on July 19 and 20, 1848, in which approximately 300 people gathered to attend. It is considered by many historians to be the formal beginning of the Women’s Rights Movement in the United States.

Weslyan Methodist Chapel Interior

This illustration portrays the morning session of the second day of the convention.

From left to right:
Frederick Douglas, James Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Ann M’Clintock, Sr and Lucretia Mott

The Visitor Center, located next door to the chapel, features two floors of museum exhibits on the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, including the “First Wave” statue installation on the ground floor.

“First Wave”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton is located at the far left in the large statue group.

The home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton is located across Van Cleef Lake. Stanton called her home the “Center of the Rebellion” during her family’s 15 years in Seneca Falls. 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Home

From the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House we drove to the Ludovico Sculpture Trail.  The trail is 1.8 mi round trip. We walked the trail for about 1/4 mi and turned around.  The trail was muddy in spots; it was hot and my knee hurt. We did see a few sculptures.

Amelia Bloomer by Cherry Rahn

Amelia Bloomer was an early suffragist, editor, and social activist. She was also a fashion advocate who worked to change women’s clothing styles.

Amelia Bloomer by Cherry Rahn
and
It’s a Wonderful Life Bridge in the background
Canal Diggers by Brian Pfeiffer

Leaving Seneca Falls we drove to and through Montezuma Wildlife Refuge.  We didn’t see anything worth photographing.  

From Montezuma we returned to our Airbnb, but not before stopping at our hosts’ house.  Our hosts live one house up from the Airbnb.  We were invited to stop by and take a picture of the lake from their vantage point.

Wyckoff Road View of Owasco Lake
(looking south)
Wyckoff Road View of Owasco Lake
(looking north)

We ate dinner at Drifters on Owasco.  Drifters is located in Moravia at the southern end of Owasco Lake.  We sat on the deck alongside Owasco Lake.

Bob ordered a Buffalo Chicken Wrap with chips.  I ordered boneless chicken wings with sweet potato fries.  Our waitress was personable and efficient.  The food was good.  The view was outstanding.  We sat on an outside deck alongside the lake. 

Lakeside Dining

We enjoyed conversation with a couple visiting from NYC, who drove from Ithaca NY to eat at Drifters.

After dinner, we returned to our Airbnb.  We enjoyed our last camp fire of vacation.   We started packing.

Finger Lakes Vacation: Day 6

We planned to drive into Auburn on Monday (May 30) to watch the Memorial Day parade.  We reviewed the parade route. The parade route was short, and we opted not to go.  Instead we relaxed at the Airbnb. I took a few pictures, while we relaxed.

Casa Esperanza on Wyckoff Road
our Airbnb rental for the week
Our View of Owasco Lake from the Airbnb

Bob and I went for a walk down and back up Wyckoff Road. This road goes by the Airbnb.

The walk down was easy.
The walk up was not easy!
I soaked up this view each day, while on vacation.
Isn’t the view of the barn and Owasco Lake beautiful!

Late morning or very early in the afternoon we drove into Auburn to see some of the city’s attractions. The city of Auburn is an approximate 8-mile drive from our Airbnb.

The first two places that we visited relate to Harriet Tubman, an African-American abolitionist who was born into slavery in Maryland in 1820. After emancipating herself and members of her family, she moved them from Ontario, Canada to Fleming and Auburn, New York in 1859. Central New York was a center for progressive thought, abolition, and women’s suffrage where Tubman continued to fight for human rights and dignity until she died in 1913.

Harriet Tubman House in Auburn, NY

Harriet Tubman is buried at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, NY.

Harriet Tubman Gravesite
Harriet Tubman Gravesite at Fort Hill Cemetery

We also saw the the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center, the William H Seward House, and the Memorial to Cayuga County Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War.

New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center

The New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center is Auburn’s Welcome Center. According to an online information source this center features a state-of-the-art exhibition titled “Seeing Equal Rights in NYS”, where New York State’s progressive history supporting equality comes to life through interactive displays. Unfortunately, the center was closed. We could only walk through its grounds.

A statue of Harriet Tubman was on the grounds of the New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center.
Across from the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center is the David Munson Osborne Memorial City Hall.

Next door to the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center is the Seward House Museum.

Seward House Museum
the historic home of William Henry Seward and his family

William H Seward was a politician of the 19th century. He served as NYS Senator from 1830 to 1834, as NYS Governor from 1838 to 1842 and as Secretary of the State from 1860 to 1868.

The Seward House Museum was not open at the time.

Across the street from the Seward House Museum and next door to City Hall is a Memorial to Cayuga County Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War.

Memorial to Cayuga County Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War
Memorial to Cayuga County Soldiers and Sailors
of the Civil War

We left downtown Auburn and drove to Tom Thumb Drive In and had ice cream for lunch. The view from Tom Thumb is gorgeous.

There are outdoor tables and benches available at Tom Thumb Drive In.
Beautiful view!
There is a miniature golf course at Tom Thumb Drive In.

We didn’t play golf…maybe next time.

We left Tom Thumb Drive In and drove around Owasco Lake. We drove south down the eastern side of the lake and up the western side. On Thursday we had driven around the lake in the opposite direction.

View of Owasco Lake from Ensenore Road
Our Airbnb is located on Wyckoff Rd.

There is an area to the right of this sign, where it is possible to pull off the road and park for a short time. We did this, as I wanted to photograph Owasco Lake a short walk from here.

“Guardian of the Lake”

Back at home, at 4:30 pm, we prepared our Memorial Day dinner.

We ate marinated steak with onion and mushrooms, mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables for our Memorial Day dinner.

Finger Lakes Vacation: Day 5

We left our Airbnb around 9:00 am on Sunday, May 29, en route Jordan NY.  In Jordan we went for a bicycle ride on the Erie Canalway Trail.

After our bicycle ride we returned to our Airbnb via Skaneateles, where we ate dinner at Bluewater Grill.  Bob ordered a steak sandwich with French fries.  I ordered a shrimp po’boy with sweet potato fries.  Both entrees were delicious.

Bob made a campfire in the evening.

Relaxing at our Airbnb

If I recall correctly, this was our fourth campfire. 

Life is good.

Finger Lakes Vacation: Day 4

A little after 10:00 am on Saturday (May 27) we left our Airbnb to make a drive around Skaneateles Lake, the next Finger Lake to the east of Owasco Lake. It was raining, when we left.  The rain stayed with us all the way around the lake. I didn’t take any photographs, during this ride around the lake.  

We ate lunch at Prison City Pub & Brewery on State Street in Auburn.  Bob ordered a Salmon BLT (Seared salmon fillet, lettuce, bacon, tomato, caper dill mayo, NY bakery roll) with a side salad.  I ordered a Pub Burger (local grass-fed beef, caramelized onions, cheddar, house pickles, chipotle mayo, brioche roll) with a side salad.

It stopped raining, while we were eating lunch, so we decided to take another drive around Skaneateles Lake.  The rain did not return, and the sky cleared up.

We stopped briefly in the Town of Skaneateles at the north end of Skaneateles Lake.

Thayer Park in Skaneateles
The Pier in Skaneateles
View of St James Episcopal Church and a portion of Thayer Park from the Pier
View of Businesses from the Pier
Clift Park Gazebo

From Skaneateles we drove south along the eastern side of Skaneateles Lake.

A sign indicated that this was the Keep Family Overlook.
This overlook of Skaneateles Lake is along Route 41 just past Vincent Hill Road.

We turned around at the overlook and took Vincent Hill Road to the southern end of Skaneateles Lake via E. Lake Road and Glen Haven Road.

Skaneateles Lake (southern end, looking south)
Skaneateles Lake (southern end, looking north)

We continued our drive north along the western side of Skaneateles Lake.

We stopped briefly at the ruins of New Hope Mills, located near the intersection of Glen Haven Road and Route 41a.

New Hope Mills Ruins
New Hope Mills Ruins

I will say more about New Hope Mills in a later post.

On our way back to our Airbnb we stopped at Tom Thumb Drive Inn for dessert.  We enjoyed ice cream, with a view of Owasco Lake.

Finger Lakes Vacation: Day 3

On Friday (May 27) we awakened to a rainy morning. It rained all day long.

Rainy Day reading

I read “Last Summer Boys: A Novel”, by Bill Rivers. I finished reading this book, after returning home from vacation. It was a good read, and I highly recommend it.

I took a break from reading to prepare a pasta salad.  While preparing the salad I saw a deer walk through the side yard.  I think the deer crossed over Wyckoff Rd into the yard.  I wondered if there were more deer, and I missed seeing them.

I took another break from reading later in the morning to listen to “Smoke: The Disappearance of Damien Sharp”, a podcast produced by Brian Hagberg and Stacey Gross.  While listening to Episode 2 of the podcast, I noticed several buzzards circling overhead.  Bob said they were perched on the roof, wings spread.  Then I saw a deer peeking through a fence in the neighbors yard.  The deer passed through the fence and into our yard, entered the path through the woods and disappeared.  This part of the yard is on the opposite side of the house than the deer we saw earlier.  A little while later I saw a deer’s head popping up and down, looking toward me, as it walked through tall weeds, on the neighbors side of the fence.  The deer that seemed curious about me kept getting closer to the side window by the fireplace, in the living room, where I was sitting.  I felt like I was being watched, when the deer made its last appearance.

I WAS being watched!

The deer soon disappeared down the hill toward Wyckoff Rd.

Be sure to check out Stacey and Brian’s podcast, mentioned above. The podcast is about Damien Sharp, a 22-year-old Warren PA resident, who went missing 20 years ago. The podcast examines the case, the people involved, and the context within which Damien went missing. The first three episodes were released on May 25. I will be listening to Episode 5, which was released today, June 8, sometime this week. 

So, this was a stay at home kind of day. It rained off and on all day long.  Between 7:30 pm and 8:00 pm it looked like it was clearing up.  We saw some blue in the sky and the sun, briefly.  More rain is expected on Saturday.

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